“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads in them”
-- Marianne Moore
Insects who live in
Are not sure they’re real.
Those who ask the toads
Do not return.
In his brown study the Blue Devil has stayed up reading
Le Rouge et le Noir for the seventeenth time. As always
He hopes for a new ending; this time the arc
Of Julien Sorel’s life will alter. He’ll board a ship, say;
Arrive at Newark and travel by stages to Cincinnati
Where he’ll tend bar, develop a sense of humor,
Marry a milliner who will cut his hair
With pinking shears. Leaving the book open,
Fifty pages from the end, the Blue Devil
Whistles his black dog out of the corner,
Puts on a scarf, checks an address; walks out the door.